Architecture and Design Scotland, NHS Forth Valley and Forestry Commission Scotland are pleased to announce the winner of the Larbert Loch Design Competition, a design competition to create a permanent viewing platform at Forth Valley Royal Hospital – a place (destination) for the enjoyment of patients, staff and visitors. In order to promote a better understanding of using timber in construction, this structure will be built on the Larbert Loch site with direct input from the designers and using locally sourced Scottish timber.
The judging panel was delighted by the number of entries submitted in this two-stage competition. From the 31 entries, five were shortlisted for further design development and judging of the second stage took place on 5 July 2012.
The winning design, from George Watt and Stewart Architects of Aberdeen, with its steeply angled portal frame enclosing structure, references historic former use of the chosen site, positioned on the foundations of the old boathouse. The design draws the user along the path into a position where attention is focused on Larbert church tower and the island in the loch to the East, while benefitting from the path of the sun which will filter light through the fins that form the walls, casting constantly changing shadows. The structure is not intended to provide complete shelter from the elements and the ‘eroding’ nature of the timber platform as it reaches out over the water makes clear to the user that he/ she should not proceed beyond a certain point. Nonetheless, the pavilion will be fully accessible and provides some sheltered rest seating as well as seating for viewing.
Overall, the judges felt this project demonstrated a skillful development in its detail design whilst maintaining the clarity of the concept that had been presented at stage one.